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Dory
10-31-2005, 10:57 AM
So there's a thread on snowfall amounts, but I have a question about melting. I'm 3 days and a wakeup from my first winter(?) :D backpacking trip and we're trying to decide on routes and whether we'll need snowshoes or not. From all the TR's it seems that snowshoes in the higher elevations this weekend were pretty much required, however, this week's forecast is fairly warm and I am wondering if much of this early snow might melt enough before the weekend that snowshoes may not be needed? Or will the temps at elevation keep the snow depth fairly consistent?

Thanks for your help!

Tom Rankin
10-31-2005, 11:24 AM
So there's a thread on snowfall amounts, but I have a question about melting. I'm 3 days and a wakeup from my first winter(?) :D backpacking trip and we're trying to decide on routes and whether we'll need snowshoes or not. From all the TR's it seems that snowshoes in the higher elevations this weekend were pretty much required, however, this week's forecast is fairly warm and I am wondering if much of this early snow might melt enough before the weekend that snowshoes may not be needed? Or will the temps at elevation keep the snow depth fairly consistent?

Thanks for your help!

I'd bet that the amount of snow we saw up there will not melt away in just 1 week. Take whatever temperatures you have for Lake Placid, and subtract 12 degrees for the upper reaches of the high peaks. If you are going up the North side of a mountain, the melt off will be even less.

It seems that a lot of people were taken by surprise last weekend. Don't be one of them this weekend! :D

Crampons might be useful too. If there is a lot of thawing and melting, you will certainly have ice.

Here is another tip. If it is warm, and there is still snow, expect to get *WET*! I was *SOAKED* after last Saturday's hike to 'easy' Hurricane! (http://vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?p=110295#post110295) Bring water proof mittens, pants, etc...

Jean
10-31-2005, 11:28 AM
Dory,
It's that time of year where we all have to carry a whole bunch of gear that we might not necessarly use because we can get just about any weather conditions.
I would recommand bringing snowshoes, crampons and be prepared for winter conditions. Once you get on site you can always leave the stuff you don't need in the car if the weather has been more clement during the week.
That being said, if you are going for an extended hike, you should carry everything. You wouldn't to be stuck in a snowstorm at Panther Gorge (for example) without proper gear.

Mattl
10-31-2005, 01:53 PM
I dont think there will be much snow left below 3,500 feet in the next couple days. If it is it will be hardpacked ice from melt and freeze. -Mattl

slamdog
10-31-2005, 03:11 PM
I second Jeans response and would plan on bringing it all. I'm sure many of us (me included) have gone up for the sunny 50 degree day only to wind up in waist deep snow by the time we reached the summit. I usually bring it all when conditions are in flux. (At least I'll look prepared!) Enjoy. Lance

post'r boy
10-31-2005, 03:51 PM
bring a chainsaw and an axe!!! that's what it sounds like to me,even if the snow melts. :D :eek: ;)

Doc McPeak
10-31-2005, 09:43 PM
It is very wet underneath (ground not frozen yet) and there will most likely be significant snowmelt at all elevations. If there isn't new snow you should be fine with the usual assortment of gear (bring them all) but I would bet you'll have the best luck barebooting. If you read the reports you noticed almost no difference between people shoeing and those booting. The conditions were terrible for both, yet we had fun bushwhacking up Phelps. Barebooted all the way, for it would have been idiotic to achieve the same result with cement shoes on our feet. These early big snowfalls with very wet under conditions and then warm temperatures are rare and usually shortlived. Ice would probably be your biggest concern, more likely slop. Be prepared for all conditions and use whatever appears to work best. Expecting a slower pace (from a little to alot!) is what you should probably plan for most. And it's dark in the woods before 5, with trails very difficult to decipher now in the lower light. We sure had fun though! We planned accordingly.

grasshopper
11-01-2005, 09:33 PM
I usually use crampons more in late fall, after big snow followed by a weeks worth of freeze thaw cycle.north slopes and closed in trails with exposed bedrock usually have the most ice.
if you plant ice
you're gonna harvest wind (GD)

Doc McPeak
11-01-2005, 10:29 PM
I agree with the mastergrasshopper, watch those north slopes...

and now I can slip off topic for a quickie...

A great story spurred on by your last quote. I was at the Knicks-Pacers EC finals in '99 and had the super sweet seats down low. Waltzing around ON the court I walked by the announcers courtside table and spotted Bill Walton. I had met Bill twice backstage at shows before, once in Philly, once in Worcester, and gave him a flip of his signature finger point. He lit up as if he knew me, so i fired a "If you plant ice..." for which he enthusiastically replied, "You're gonna harvest wind!" Very cool!

Now, back to snowmelt... it was 67 degrees in the Southern ADKS today, with lots of sunshine. With my lean-to work pencilled in for this weekend, I hope to hear good reports for I some hillwalking expeditions in mind for the following weekend...

Tom Rankin
11-02-2005, 07:24 AM
but I would bet you'll have the best luck barebooting. If you read the reports you noticed almost no difference between people shoeing and those booting. The conditions were terrible for both, yet we had fun bushwhacking up Phelps. Barebooted all the way, for it would have been idiotic to achieve the same result with cement shoes on our feet.

I agree with this to a point.

There was benefit wearing snow shoes on Hurricane last Saturday, but only once we got up high enough where the temp was low enough that melting wasn't an issue, and we were in powder. 2 guys in front of us who were barebooting turned around when the snow got too deep.

Back down low, it was a mess, no matter what we wore!